Public Health Announces Ebola Readiness
Mono and Inyo County Public Health can swiftly respond should a case of Ebola occur here.
Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that there is a confirmed case of Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola) in Texas. The Health Department would like to reassure all residents of the Eastern Sierra that there are no suspected cases of Ebola here in the counties, or in the states of California and Nevada.
“We do not anticipate an outbreak of Ebola to occur here, however if a suspected case of Ebola should occur, the Public Health Department is prepared and equipped to swiftly respond,” said Rick Johnson, M.D., MPH, Health Officer. “Public Health has been preparing for a possible case of Ebola.”
As part of Public Health’s readiness, the Department is taking the proactive steps of providing information about Ebola, its diagnosis, and the management of suspected cases to health care providers throughout the county. In the event of a single case or even multiple cases of illness, Public Health and its hospital partners have the ability to identify and diagnose any suspected Ebola case through public health laboratories, isolate any patient with a confirmed diagnosis, provide appropriate care with strict infection control, and work with those who have had contact with the patient. The hospital has the ability to provide a patient his or her own room and bathroom, and is able to isolate that patient and provide competent and complete medical care for Ebola. We are also linked with other referral centers that are equipped to handle transfers to referral centers out of our area.
“It is important to note that the risk of spreading Ebola is very low in the U.S. and in Mono and Inyo Counties. Ebola patients can only spread the disease when they have symptoms, and a person ‘catches’ this illness only when they have direct contact with an infected person’s body fluids. Avoiding direct contact with the patient and his or her fluids protects others from infection,” said Dr. Johnson.
The CDC and Public Health will be working with the Mammoth Yosemite Airport to respond if an international traveler is suspected of having Ebola. People should avoid unnecessary travel to countries in West Africa that are currently affected by the Ebola outbreak. If you recently visited one of these countries and had contact with someone infected with Ebola, you should visit your doctor and discuss your travel history. If you visited one of these countries, but you did not have contact with anyone infected with Ebola, you should take your temperature twice a day. If you get a fever or other symptoms within 21 days of your return to the U.S., visit your doctor and discuss your travel history.
Public Health continues to monitor for any possible cases of Ebola, and we continue to work with our partners and health care providers to protect health, prevent disease, and promote the health and well-being of all residents of the Eastern Sierra.